"My Kamp Story" featuring Ryan Brinkman | Kanakuk Kamps
"My Kamp Story" featuring Ryan Brinkman

Last week on our blog we shared the testimony of Mason Fender, a life long Kamper. This week we would love to share another testimony from a Kamper who has also grown up with Kanakuk, Ryan Brinkman. 


Ryan is originally from McKinney, TX and currently is a senior at Oklahoma State University. After graduating with a degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in May 2017, he plans to attend the Kanakuk Institute over the next year and then live as a layman disciple-maker in the engineering workforce.


My Kamp Story

by Ryan Brinkman



My summers at Kanakuk, both as a Kamper and as a counselor, have had a tremendous impact in my development as a man of God. More specifically, my time at Kamp taught me what it looked like to practically live as a disciple of Jesus.


As a Kamper, I’d return to Lampe each year and see these athletic, handsome, strong college men running around, going crazy, and having the time of their life playing sports. Yet when friends or parents asked me to describe my week at Kamp, I’d consistently comment on how my counselors memorized scripture, shared their testimonies, modeled the “I’m Third” mentality, respected women, strove for purity and served like Christ. From the age of 9, the character qualities and lifestyle of a Christian man were displayed for me every summer and the vision of investing in the next generation of laborers was cast. As a result, I had a model of biblical manhood to which I aspired upon when I returned home.


Not only was the vision of discipleship cast, but I was also given practical training as I grew up around Kanakuk. Through the years, I have developed incredible friendships with my counselors and teepee-mates as they modeled biblical, transparent brotherhood. As a result, I was comfortable initiating and facilitating similar conversations outside of Kamp. In fact, since I knew these deeper and more fulfilling relationships existed, I implored God for them in college and got to see Him faithfully answer those prayers. The “Barnabuses” in my life, while at times are very challenging, have continued to point me back to the cross in times of hardship as well as prosperity.


Today, as I reflect on my walk with Christ over the past four years in college, I’m not surprised at how often I am reminded of one of my counselors or how often I think to myself, “What would my counselor do in this situation?” Often times, the answer involves maximizing the teachable moments or serving others before myself. While funny moments and laughter are often recalled, their intentional investment in a younger man’s faith will always stick with me. Therefore, when asked in a recent interview, about my proudest accomplishment at Oklahoma State, I did not point to my academic performance, competitive internships, or even my leadership positions. Rather, I described the opportunity to live out the Great Commission, initially modeled by my counselors at Kanakuk, pointing to the blessing of having “Timothy’s” to whom I’ve passed the baton. 


What’s your Kanakuk story? Share with us using the hashtag #iLikeKanakuk